Newtown >> It has been two years since the Central Bucks West boys basketball team made it to the state championships. In 2014, the Bucks won the first game and later lost to the eventual state champions Roman Catholic.
This story line could be the same this year as the Bucks beat Emmaus High School 53-35 at Council Rock High School South in the first round of the PIAA 6A Championship tournament.
Emmaus, the third runner up from District 12, made it to the state quarterfinals last year and was hoping for a better turnout this year.
Leading the way for the Bucks was Shane McCusker with a game-high 16 points.
“I’m excited to get to this point considering this is my first go-around in the state tournament,” said McCusker. “It’s really special for our team playing in March knowing that a lot of teams don’t make it this far every year.”
McCusker had four three-pointers in the first half being limited to two shots in the second half.
Other Bucks that contributed to the victory in terms of scoring included Jake Reichwein with 10 points, Collin MacAdams with nine points, Jack Neri with eight points, Mika Munari with four points, Jack Mulhearn with four points, and Reed Zerweck with three points.
The game was kept close heading into the second quarter after the Bucks had a 16-11 lead.
The Bucks later increased their lead to 32-18 after a great defensive effort.
Central Bucks West head coach Adam Sherman wanted his team to stay positive in the second half despite having a big lead.
“I thought it was important that we came out with a lot of energy in the second half,” said Sherman. “We wanted to make sure that we didn’t drop our intensity.”
“We knew that we had to stick together and take care of the little things,” added Sherman.
Emmaus did come back in the third quarter outscoring the Bucks 10-4 to set the score to 38-28 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Bucks later came out firing from all cylinders to outscore Emmaus 17-7 in the fourth quarter and seal the 53-35 victory.
The Emmaus High School Hornets finished the 2017-18 season with a 16-14 overall record. Josh Artis led the Hornets with 12 points in the first-round loss.
The Central Bucks West boys basketball team will now focus on taking on Reading High School in the second round of the 6A state championship tournament on Wednesday, March 14 at a time and location yet to be determined.
Reading, the District three and defending state champions, defeated Bensalem High School 63-38 in the first round.
CB West 53, Emmaus 35
CBW 16 16 4 17 -53
EM 11 7 10 7 -35
Emmaus: Artis 12; Diehl 9; Sabol 3; Ferguson 3; Bohman 2; Swedberg 2; Smith 2; Riegel 2.
CB West: McCusker 16; Reichwein 10; MacAdams 9; Neri 8; Mulhearn 4; Munari 4; Zerweck 3.
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